This Orthodox сathedral is older than the world-famous Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra in 40 years, and chronicles say that it was founded in 1011.
The history of St. Sophia Cathedral better than the Lavra — it was only once looted and damaged by soldiers of Batu Khan in 1240, and in 1280 — already renovated.
For a long time it was neglected, and later Hetman Ivan Mazepa ordered to restore it completely and rebuild its exterior in the style of Ukrainian Baroque. The work on the temple continued until 1740, when it finally acquired the present shape. Until today preserved the bell molded in 1705, located on the second floor of the bell tower and is called "Mazepa".
The interior of the cathedral still preserves the world's largest beautiful ensemble of authentic mosaics and frescoes of the first half of 1000-ies, made the Byzantine masters.
In 1990 St. Sophia Cathedral became the first monument in Ukraine listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Since the building of the cathedral is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is forbidden to pass it to any religious organization and conduct services there.